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Seven scenarios for a new Brussels Ring Road
Major infrastructural changes to the Brussels Ring Road (R0) are scheduled to begin in 2024, and the Flemish and Brussels governments are looking at seven different scenarios next to the works already approved and planned.
While the R0 serves motorists entering and leaving the capital, the greatest part of it is located in Flanders. Therefore, the Flemish region is co-ordinating the project to improve traffic flow, though in conversation with the Brussels Capital-Region.
The R0 is a thorn in the side of daily commuters to Brussels, who may spend just 20 minutes getting to it and then another 30 sitting on it before they can exit. Congestion on the ring can also have a detrimental effect on passengers heading to Brussels Airport.
Works planned include a separation of lanes for through and exiting traffic, tunnels, cycle highways and bridges and three new tram lines. One line would circle the ring, and another would go to the airport.
No additional lanes
The entire project budget is €2 billion, but there is already €127 million available for works that can begin by next year. This includes the realisation of more cycle highways.
“The first cycle highway has already been completed, along the A12 in Meise and Grimbergen,” said Flemish mobility minister Lydia Peeters yesterday in parliament. “We have also already started working on the route of the Ring trambus in Vilvoorde. Next year, we’ll start on another several cycle highways, including a cycle bridge that will cross over the Ring and along the canal in Vilvoorde and Grimbergen.”
As for how to structure all of it, there are still seven options on the table. Every option comes with a different price, which also factors into the decision. Most of Flanders’ parties agree that more capacity for motorists should not be created on the R0 as it is not the intention to attract more traffic but to improve the flow of current traffic patterns.
Photo: Bruno Fahy/BELGA